Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, August 28, 2006

National body needs narrow focus

Ngai Tahu leader Sir Tipene O'Regan says a proposed new Maori national organisation needs to be narrowly focused if it is to survive.

Tuwharetoa paramount chief Tumu te Heuheu has invited the tribes to Pukawa on the shores of Lake Taupo in November to discuss the formation of a body which can support the new Maori king, Tuheitia Paki.

Sir Tipene says Maori leadership needs to look to the lessons of the past when crating any new body.

“Things that we've tried to set up historically, the Maori parliaments, the New Zealand Maori Council (which is in fact a state creation), the New Zealand Maori Congress, they have all one way and another failed, and one of the reaons they have failed is because in my view they have tended to be too wide, too inclusive, too broad in their overall agenda,” Sit Tipene said.

Sir Tipene says Maoridom needs a place where it can develop consistent views on the place of the Treaty of Waitangi, the role of iwi in resource management and the sort of organisations structures which iwi need to move forward and create inter-generational wealth.


There are people within New Zealand First willing and able to replace Winston Peters, should he decide to stand down.

That's the view of Maori Affairs spokesperson Pita Paraone.

Party president Dail Jones has started sounding out people to lead the election into the 2011 election, when Mr Peters will be 66.

Mr Paraone says the party is in good heart.

“Amongst the present team there are two people there who have clearly put their hands up and are able to do the job, but in the meantime we only have one leader and we are quite happy with his leadership,” Paraone said.

The late Dame Te Atairangikaahu was remembered at the Aotea regional kapa haka competitions in Whanganui last weekend, as groups adapted their material to pay tribute to the Maori queen.

Whanganui group Te Matapihi took out the top position, and will be joined by Te Reanga Morehu o Ratana at the Te Matatini National Kapa Haka Festival next February.

Te Matatini chairperson Tama Huata says much of the material celebrated the whakapapa and shared history of the Wanganui, Taranaki, Waitara and Ratana areas.

“The Aotea regionals were fantastic. It was a wonderful hui and there was wonderful development of kapa haka and for all the groups involved. The winning groups, Te Matapihi and the group from Ratana certainly deserved to be in those top 2 positions,” Huata said.

Tama Huata says there will be a new award at next year's Te Matatini festival to acknowledge Maori composers and music icons.


A strike by workers at an Auckland Supermarket Distribution centre, has reached a standoff.

Staff at Progressive Enterprises in Mangere have been on strike since last week, seeking pay parity with other distribution centres run by the company in Christchurch and Palmerston North.

Syd Kepa, the apiha Maori for the National Distribution Union, says the workers, who are predominantly Maori and Polynesian, voted not to return to work at midday as intended, but to hold out until their demands are met.

He say the company have since met with Union delegates.

“ They've locked the workers out so it looks at this stage like an indefinte strike which means we’re not talking to each other. So it’s up to both parties, whoever chucks the towel in I guess,” Kepa said.


Waitangi Tribunal member Ranginui Walker says the Ngapuhi claims may never be resolved if claimants can't reach agreement between themselves.

The tribunal is postponing next month's judicial conference with the Ngapuhi claim design group, because not enough progress has been made.

Dr Walker says the tribunal encourages claimants to form natural groupings to make claims easier to handle, but this doesn't seem to be happening in Taitokerau.

He says Ngapuhi Runanga chairperson Sonny Tau must bear some of the responsibility.

“He hasn't yet come up with the strategy so the meeting before the end of the year has been postponed until next year, so we’ve lost a year already, and I’m becoming more pessimistic that, because we have other hapus standing out, we may never complete the Taitokerau hearing,” Walker said.


National Party broadcasting spokesperson Georgina te Heuheu says TVNZ isn't fulfilling its charter obligations by churning out reality and quiz shows.

Mrs te Heuheu says last week's shared coverage by TVNZ and Maori Television of the tangi for Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu shows there is a demand for well-produced programmes which reflect the country.

She says TVNZ management should take note of the ratings for a uniquely New Zealand experience.

“We've had this whole run of shows, while they’re enjoyed by some, rally don’t fulfill the charter. Let’s hope, having seen the debacle of the last few years, they have learnt, and certainly take a lesson from the great coverage New Zealanders saw last week,” te Heuheu said.

Georgina Te Heu Heu says the ratings for the tangi coverage and for Maori Television's Anzac Day broadcasts show people are hungry for a uniquely New Zealand experience.


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